Swiss drugmaker Roche has snapped up US digital pathology solutions group BioImagene for $100 million in a move that will strengthen its presence in tissue-based cancer diagnostics and research.

The Basel-headquartered group announced this morning that is has signed an agreement under which Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group, will acquire 100% of privately-held BioImagine, and that the deal is expected to close “in the coming weeks”.

According to Roche, BioImagene is an innovative leader in the field of digital pathology workflow and analysis, and its products create high-resolution, whole-slide digital images from glass microscope slides as well as provide the means to analyse these images via a computer, “taking pathology beyond traditional microscope applications”.

“The increasing complexity of new tests and technologies creates tremendous need for more sophisticated tools for tissue analysis and diagnosis,” explained Daniel O’Day, chief operating officer of Roche Diagnostics, and he noted that BioImagene’s products “will complement and strengthen our current offering in image analysis and information management.”

“Through this acquisition, Ventana is uniquely positioned to improve laboratory efficiency and help pathologists improve patient care,” added Hany Massarany, President of Ventana, and further explaining the strategic fit said that with BioImagene’s current and future products the company will be able to deliver “an end-to-end solution from automated staining to comprehensive patient reports”.